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NRBQ’s Terry Adams Talks Thelonious

The hybrid-rock band's co-founder fulfills a lifelong dream

Terry Adams

By the time Terry Adams had reached his late teens, even before he formed NRBQ-the beloved, if not particularly world-famous, hybrid-rock band he still fronts today-the keyboardist had already harbored an obsession with Thelonious Monk for several years. So often did he turn up at Monk’s gigs, absorbing and studying his hero’s every move, that eventually Monk’s greatest champion, “the Baroness,” Pannonica de Koenigswarter, chatted him up.

“She said, ‘From now on you’re on my guest list. Just tell me when,'” says Adams, who met Monk himself on numerous occasions. “He’d be in such a great mood sometimes. I remember him sort of teasing me. He came over and said, ‘You know what’s wrong with the world today?’ I said, ‘What?’ He said, ‘Teenagers are crazy!'”

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